The committee agrees for decisions by consensus

The Cauvery Supervisory Committee that met here on Wednesday did not find “feasible” the demand of the Tamil Nadu government for directions to Karnataka for release of Cauvery waters as per the award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

The panel, chaired by Union Water Resources Secretary S.K. Sarkar, agreed to the suggestion of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to modify its Rules of Business to decide that decisions shall ordinarily be taken by consensus. If no consensus is reached, then the decision may be left to the Chairperson. Noting that the situation was “very grim” for both the basin States as the storage levels in their respective reservoirs were deficient, the committee decided to review the position in its next meeting slated to be held in the first week of July.

The meeting observed that the southwest monsoon had arrived on time in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and has so far been in excess of normal in the first 10 days of June. It is expected to pick up in due course.

“Looking into the data such as deficit in inflows and very low storages in the reservoirs in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the request of Tamil Nadu for release of water by Karnataka was considered and found not feasible as of now. However, the position will be reviewed in the next meeting proposed to be held in the first week of July 2013,” said the six-page order signed by Mr. Sarkar.

The live storage in Karnataka reservoirs on June 10 was 3.716 tmcft, while it was 3.58 tmcft in Mettur dam as against 15.8 tmcft and 41.96 tmcft respectively in the previous year on the same date.

The outflow from Karnataka reservoirs is 0.83 tmcft and drawals, including evaporation, is 0.04 tmcft, while outflow at Mettur is 0.49 tmcft. “It is evident from the data that the situation in both Karnataka and Mettur (Tamil Nadu) is very grim,” the order said. Both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka raised objections to certain provisions in the Rules of Business, particularly the clauses pertaining to quorum and decision by majority vote. While Tamil Nadu sought early constitution of the Cauvery Management Board, Karnataka wanted that the panel should not adopt the guidelines of the Cauvery Management Board (as prescribed in the final award). The Supervisory Committee has been formed on the directions of the Supreme Court. Karnataka also suggested that water account be done at the end of December instead of from June to May. Besides, Tamil Nadu that sought 24 hours average water flows at Biligundlu for kuruvai crop and other needs.